Luciano Pavarotti and Sting

I’m participating in The Scintilla Project.

“1.Talk about a memory triggered by a particular song.”

I suppose it’s an obscure Catholic chant written by Aquinas–but it’s my favorite Eucharistic hymn.

By the time I reached Holy Week that year, I felt like I hadn’t stopped running since August. I was heartbroken and joyful when, on Holy Thursday, I told my boyfriend I couldn’t be with him anymore. I was standing on the steps of chapel when I realized it was unfair to both date him and actively discern my (possible) religious vocation. He was understanding, knowing I’d been considering it for a while, and we parted amicably.

I felt at peace during that mass. I felt Jesus pulling me a little bit closer to Him, inch by inch. I was calm during the breakup, and went back to chapel for adoration. I spent most of the next few days in Chapel or in choir rehearsals.

Easter Vigil ended almost exactly at midnight. It had been a long, hot four hours in the choir loft. I don’t think the Easter fun died until about 2am when I finally crashed. The Easter day that followed was a little sluggish. I had a migraine and there was a thunderstorm.

Two tylenol 3’s later, I went to Easter dinner at the ex’s apartment, with our whole group of friends. I felt fine, and completely forgot about the migraine. We were cooking, and I had a glass of champagne.
It was a celebration!

The next morning, I woke up. I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I was in his bed.

Apparently “we had fun”.

I was the girl he couldn’t have. So much for the amicable break up.

I only remember flashes from the next few weeks.

Campus was bright and sunny. The gravel was particularly loud as I paced outside my dorm talking to my best friend from home. The panic at realizing he was on my residence hall floor, hanging out with some of our mutual friends. Seeking solace in the chapel and realizing it was too quiet. Realizing the choir loft was the last place I’d felt safe.

I couldn’t keep him away from church. I avoided Sunday mass altogether. I took to the chapel  at night, when it was almost empty, sitting on the floor in the front. Praying, sitting, and crying to the God who loved me so much as to make me His, and yet allowed this brutal act to transpire. The Eucharist was the only thing in my life that hadn’t radically shifted.

Six years later, on days when I still feel broken, I come back to chapel. He used tragedy to wrap me ever tighter in His loving arms. I just need to not run away.

Panis angelicus
Fit panis hominum;
Dat panis coelicus
Figuris terminum:
O res mirabilis!
Manducat Dominum
Pauper, servus et humilis.


8 thoughts on “Panis Angelicus

  1. I am angry and saddened on your behalf but also in awe that you have peace in a place when you most need it. I thank Dominique for leading me to you. I’ll be back.

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